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BPPV Testing and Management

Vertigo and “Ear Crystals”

We have a large number of patients who call us to inform us that their Doctor has told them that they have “Ear Crystals” and that they should come to see us; that we may be able to help them. Everyone has ear crystals, but when they migrate or move away from where they are supposed to be, most often, YES, we can help them! But how?

Trouble with “Ear Crystals’ is another way of describing BPPV, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Benign: the condition almost always goes away with proper treatment Paroxysmal: the condition may return causing vertigo without warning Positional: it is brought on by specific type of head movement Vertigo: the sensation is that of spinning that may be mild or violent.

These crystals normally lie in a gel layer inside the utricle in our vestibular systems. A common symptom of migrated crystals is that there is dizziness or vertigo when you wake up, nausea and vomiting. The vertigo may stop when the position of your head is held still. The common reasons that these crystals migrate can be: head injury, aging, or idiopathic (the cause is not known). Some studies show there may be a correlation between allergies and respiratory infections and BPPV.

Whatever the reason that caused those crystals to migrate, the treatment is same: Particle or crystal re-positioning – getting those crystals back into the utricle. Our Doctors of Audiology are well versed in this. We often hear that people have tried these maneuvers at home, without success – we do not recommend this, as if completed improperly may cause more harm than good.

So what should you expect of your appointment with us? Well, we always ask you to fill out a case history and those documents will be reviewed with the audiologist. Then a few very precise head and body maneuvers will determine if you could be helped by the crystal re-positioning. The entire appointment takes but 1 hour and symptoms may disappear entirely with one treatment.

If you are tired of feeling dizzy or imbalanced when changing positions, simply call us to arrange an appointment with the audiologist at The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic.

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Shop Small: Small Business Saturday!

This weekend is Small Business Saturday (November 28, 2015). We are very proud to be a small, locally owned independent business.

Small businesses (like ours!) depend heavily on their local communities for support. As local customers ourselves, this weekend, we’re going to “pay it forward” and support small business in the way it matters most to them — through our wallet.

Studies show that for every $100 you spend locally, $48 stays local to support the community through other businesses and employment opportunities. Whereas for every $100 spent at a chain or big box store, only $13 stays local. 

Choose to support our community this year by shopping local, at the holidays and all year through! You can find local businesses by clicking here.

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Don’t forget that we are right now offering complimentary hearing screenings in exchange for a canned food donation for The Essex Area Food Bank, call today (519) 961-9285 to schedule your hearing screening and take advantage of our BOGO Hearing aid sale! Buy one, get the second for 1/2 Off!

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Top 10 Facts About Positional Vertigo (BPPV)- Balance Awareness Week

Is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)  a rare and exotic disease? No, on most clinic days, I see at least one person with BPPV, and often, I see several. For some, BPPV is a minor annoyance. For others, it’s a nightmare of dizziness, loss of balance, nausea, and inability to work or participate in family activities. — Gregory T. Whitman, M.D. (otoneurology)

Here are the Top 10 things you should know about Positional Vertigo (BPPV), with thanks to the Vestibular Disorders Association

1. If you woke up with vertigo, it is likely you have BPPV.

2. If you have vertigo that comes on when you lie down, it is likely you have BPPV.

3. If you have had more than 2 episodes of severe vertigo, there’s a strong possibility you have BPPV .

4. If you have BPPV in both ears, it will almost certainly throw off your balance.

5. If you have a past history of migraine and develop BPPV, you may notice an increase in headaches or light sensitivity. These symptoms will likely decrease after the BPPV has been successfully treated.

6. After BPPV has been treated, it’s a good idea for the doctor to ensure that dizziness, imbalance and related symptoms resolve.

7. If your vertigo makes you nauseated, and you do not have any vestibular tests planned, you may want to ask your audiologist if it would be all right to take a medication for vertigo before the Epley Maneuver. This can make BPPV treatment much more comfortable.

8. Curing a bout of BPPV can require persistence. Doctors and Audiologists always talk about the “easy” cases, miraculously cured on the first visit. However, I have seen patients who needed treatment on 10 different days in one month to finally clear the symptoms.

9. Another version of Rule 8: if you’ve “had BPPV for a year” or more, it’s likely you haven’t been treated enough.

10. In some cases, BPPV follows a previous inner ear infection that has damaged the inner ear and/or vestibular nerve. If this is the case, and if you still have symptoms after successful treatment of BPPV, the best treatment may be vestibular physical therapy, intended to train the ear and brain to work well together.

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If you think that you or someone you may know may benefit from speaking to our Doctors of Audiology, please give us a call! We’re here to help you (519) 961-9285.

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Adventures in Dizziness – What does ‘Dizzy’ feel like to you?

Continuing with the theme of Balance Awareness Week, I sat and thought what would be interesting for our followers to read. As I think about the dizzy, vertigo and imbalance patients that we’ve been lucky enough to see at The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic, their stories came to mind.

The moment that they got dizzy, felt the world spin or that they were spinning.

I stumbled upon this blog post by blogger Mysocalleddizzylife and was amazed at the clarity with which she described her symptoms.

My Dizziness is sometimes more like a little ripple of vertigo, this weird uncomfortable sensation: like if I turn my head, it feels like my head hasn’t caught up to where I am.  My head feels unsteady.  I feel unsteady.  When I’m dizzy I can feel nauseous.  I feel it if I turn around too quickly or when I’m practicing some of my vestibular rehabilitation therapy exercises.  And like butterflies in your stomach when you feel naseous, I also feel the butterflies in my head, spinning around, making me feel woozy.  When this happens, I want nothing more than to close my eyes and pray for the tranquility of stillness.  When I’m really dizzy, I have no balance.  I’m more than clumsy.  If I walk, I look like I’m drunk.  Unsteady and stumbling.

The other night I felt so dizzy; it was like there was a violent sea in my head, waves sloshing around so that I couldn’t find my balance.

Emily’s blog describes the beginning of her symptoms, tests, treatments, vestibular rehabilitation and her life after her dizzies. How many of our readers have shared their dizzy stories with family and friends and learned that they too have had some vestibular dysfunction?

Balance Awareness Week isn’t just learning about imbalance, but about knowing that you aren’t alone.

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Canada Day

The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic will be closed on Wednesday July 1, 2015 to celebrate Canada Day with our families.

We will reopen promptly at 9:00am on Thursday July 2, 2015.

Happy Canada Day!

BPPV Testing and Management

The Epley Maneuver – Voodoo Medicine?

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of the Epley maneuver – you’ll know where we’re coming from with this one….

The Epley maneuver is an exercise used to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV, which is a disorder arising in the inner ear. Its symptoms are repeated episodes of positional vertigo, that is, of a spinning sensation caused by changes in the position of the head. The maneuver is done with the assistance of an Audiologist or Doctor. A single 10- to 15-minute session usually is all that is needed. 

In the 1970’s, John Epley, the U.S. pioneer of cochlear implant surgery found that vertigo attacks were caused by crystals breaking free from the inner ear and settling in the semicircular canals of our vestibular organs. Our brain perceives these crystals as movement, even if we are still.

Our Doctors of Audiology at The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic have a special interest in vestibular disorders, whether it be true vertigo, un-diagnosed dizziness or imbalance. And if you ask some of our patients on the receiving end of the Epley maneuver, it sure seems like voodoo medicine. Often these patients get up and walk confidently from our office after just one treatment (sometimes after suffering years with vertigo). For particularly stubborn crystals – it may take two treatments.

Recent studies show that 40% of those admitted to hospital with a head injury have BPPV, and can be helped by the Epley Maneuver.

If you are suffering with vertigo, half an hour with our Audiologists may change your life. Call Melissa and set up an appointment with our Doctors of Audiology. We know it’s no fun to suffer with vertigo, so we’ll do our very best to get you in as quickly as possible. (519) 961-9285.

Sources: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/may/18/adventures-in-human-being-gavin-francis-review-john-epley-wirvell, http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9354276&utm_source=Issue_Alert&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=BIM

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You’re Invited! To a Tinnitus Lunch & Learn!

The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic is excited to announce our 1st Lunch & Learn!

You & a friend are cordially invited to a FREE Lunch & Learn Seminar about TINNITUS.

Do you hearing ringing, buzzing or crackling in your ears? You are not alone!

Are you intersted in learning more about your tinnitus? The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic’s Doctors of Audiology, Audiologists will cover:

  •  What is Tinnitus?
  •  Causes of Tinnitus
  •  Current Management strategies for tinnitus relief
  •  Any Questions you may have about your tinnitus

Please RSVP as soon as possible, as seating is limited! (519) 961-9285 or paige@hearinganddizzy.ca

RSVP as soon as possible! (519) 961-9285

RSVP as soon as possible! (519) 961-9285

 

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